Edward Baker “Eddie” Lincoln (March 10, 1846 – February 1, 1850) was the second son of Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln. He was named after Lincoln’s friend Edward Dickinson Baker, and the youngest Lincoln son to die. Eddie died one month short of his fourth birthday.
Eddie’s remains are buried at Lincoln tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, USA. Both parents were devastated. Some historians believe Eddie’s death began Mary Todd’s journey to instability. A week after Eddie’s death, a poem entitled “Little Eddie,” was printed in the Illinois State Journal (a newspaper). Despite a century dispute over the authorship of the poem, the author of this blog firmly believes it was written by Mrs. Lincoln for his mother spelled his name “Eddie,” while his father spelled it “Eddy.”
Those midnight stars are sadly dimmed,
That late so brilliantly shone,
And the crimson tinge from cheek and lip,
With the heart’s warm life has flown –
The angel of Death was hovering nigh,
And the lovely boy was called to die.
The silken waves of his glossy hair
Lie still over his marble brow,
And the pallid lip and pearly cheek
The presence of Death avow.
Pure little bud in kindness given,
In mercy taken to bloom in heaven.
Happier far is the angel child
With the harp and the crown of gold,
Who warbles now at the Savior’s feet
The glories to us untold. Eddie,
meet blossom of heavenly love,
Dwells in the spirit-world above.
Angel Boy – fare thee well, farewell
Sweet Eddie, We bid thee adieu!
Affection’s wail cannot reach thee now
Deep though it be, and true.
Bright is the home to him now given
For “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”‘
The final line is on the boy’s tombstone. The next child of Abraham and Mary, William Wallace Lincoln, was born ten months after Eddie’s death.
* The photograph included in this post has been in dispute since its discovery. Some believe it is Eddie Lincoln, some believe it is his younger brother, Willie. I, personally, have always believed it to be Eddie Lincoln.